Text description provided by the architects. Behind the sober building at Gävlegatan 18 in Stockholm, a mystical environment opens up. To the right stands a large building with many small windows and straight ahead is a bent one. Why all these little windows? And why this noble bend? All of it is now part of Nobis’s new hotel, Blique. The sober building facing the street, like the one on the courtyard with the many small square windows, was designed by Sigurd Lewerentz, the most ingenious individual of the twentieth century in Sweden. His radical obstinacy has now achieved mythical proportions, which only enhances the radiance of the distinctive courtyard building.
The buildings were constructed in 1930–31 for the Philips Corporation of Sweden. The one facing the street was for offices and the one toward the courtyard a warehouse. That explains the small windows, but there are more mysteries here to be solved. Why Philips needed a warehouse strong enough to hold the country’s gold reserves for storing light bulbs, fluorescent tubes, and radios is still a mystery today. In any event, the result was a building that is powerful in every sense of the word.
The bent building was constructed in 1990 according to designs by Alenius Silfverhielm Åhlund. Its noble bend is an echo of the Roman palaces of the late Renaissance, a complex architecture that the theory-conscious architects here gave a Nordic interpretation. Now that the complex has been converted into a hotel, a couple more floors have been added. This addition was designed by Sweco, while Wingårdhs was responsible for the metamorphosis of the complex as a whole to become a hotel.
Photo: Andrè Phil